Towncraft 50/50 Undershirts Replacement: New Retro Fit Undershirts

For those of us who regularly wear undershirts, it’s fair to say we have our favorites.

Likewise, the Towncraft 50/50 undershirts have a huge fan-following.

The unfortunate truth is that sometimes our favorite undershirts either get discontinued by the manufacturer or changed so dramatically that the updated versions bear little resemblance to the originals we loved so much.

I have seen many visitors come to the site in search of suitable replacements for their no-longer-made but favorite undershirts like the Target Merona 95/5.

The JC Penney Towncraft undershirts command a large following, and as such it has become one of the highest visited and commented pages on my site.

Towncraft 50/50 Undershirts Replacement

It’s unclear why JCPenney discontinued the Towncraft line, as it had such a loyal following.

If you ask JCPenney, they will refer you to their new Stafford 60/40 or 100% cotton line.

But, as mentioned above, those products bear no resemblance to the vintage loose knit weave Towncraft 50/50 undershirts that are beloved by thousands.

Well, for all those loyal fans, there is new hope.

Introducing the new Retro Fit from RibbedTee, a new line of premium undershirts.

Retro Fit Product Details

retro fit from ribbedtee
Retro Fit Crew Neck Undershirt – High collar crew, slim cut, lightweight

A loose knit, super soft, cool/hip styled relaxed slim fit jersey undershirt.

Reminiscent of the great, but no longer made Towncraft 50/50 undershirts.  Updated with the RibbedTee signature longer stay-tucked length.

  • Price: $27.90 (2-Pack)
  • Collar Styles: Crew Neck & V-Neck
  • Colors: White
  • Sizes: S – XL
  • Super soft and stretchy loose knit jersey fabric: 50% combed cotton, 50% polyester
  • Relaxed, slim fit body design like Towncraft undershirts
  • Stays tucked. Our signature longer cut keeps your undershirt tucked in
  • High collar crew & more generous cut v-neck
  • Tagless
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Customer Reviews

I’ve had Towncraft 50/50 for years and they are getting a bit worn.

So, I’ve been looking for V-neck undershirts that have a deep vee and have had little success in finding them.

The Retro-fit V-neck is perfect.

It is very much like the Towncraft 50/50 undershirts and is great.

I’m very pleased with this shirt and so hope they are available for a long time. – Geoff Swanberg

Bought a pack of the retro fit tshirts a few weeks ago, and I really liked them, so I picked up 4 more packs today. – Brian (tug reader)

14 thoughts on “Towncraft 50/50 Undershirts Replacement: New Retro Fit Undershirts”

  1. I have not owned the legendary Towncraft undershirt, however, I do have a Ribbed Tee Retro undershirt that purports to have copied the Towncraft. I’m underwhelmed by the Ribbed Tee version.

    How does it actually replicate the Towncraft? The Ribbed Tee is ridiculously too long, even for my height of 6’2”, and even after washing. It also fits like a tent, which the company calls a “relaxed” fit.

    I have a 34” waist, so, I don’t need to hide behind a tent. It’s a very unflattering fit. The bottom of the undershirt has excessive fabric and so it flows outward and just looks sloppy.

    I could never wear this undershirt under a polo shirt because the Retro undershirt would be too bulky. In terms of material, it looks and feels cheap.

    You can see through it and pilling is starting after just 1 wash (cold water) and not using a drier.

    I find it difficult to believe these attributes made the Towncraft undershirt the legendary product that it was and still is.

    Reply
    • Hey Joel,

      So sorry to hear you’re not happy with our Retro Fit undershirts.

      Our Retros should have an overall length of 29″ (Medium) or 30″ (Large), measuring laying flat from where the collar attaches to the shoulder to the bottom.

      If the Retro Fit undershirts you received are much longer than that, they are out of spec, and would be considered defective.

      Pilling unfortunately is something that is very hard for us to entirely avoid in a 110gsm loose knit weave 50/50 Poly/Cotton or Tri-Blend material.

      In an effort to minimize long-term pilling, we do cleanse the fabric in a special enzyme which helps remove surface abnormalities and softens the fabric, but it still has a tendency to pill some.

      I can assure that if I could make the 50/50 or Tri-Blend Retro, sourcing USA-made fabric, that was 100% pill resistant, I certainly would do that. Unfortunately, I have not found any USA-based fabric mill that could make that fabric for me.

      There is a possibility that we can source finer, 100% no pill yarns from overseas, and have the fabric knitted here in the United States. That is something that has been on my radar, and is something I’m still looking into.

      Is there anyway I can help facilitate a return of your item so my team can inspect it?

      Also, even if our undershirts are within our length spec, I’d be happy to have the length altered to your preferred length, 100% free of charge.

      We’re a smaller boutique brand, so we have facilities to do some custom alterations that other larger brands may not have.

      Alternatively, I could send you out a Retro in a smaller size, as we do recommend sizing down on the Retros for a closer fit.

      Feel free to email me directly: mike (at) ribbedtee [dot] com.

      Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks once again for sharing your feedback with us.

      Take care,
      Mike
      Founder, RibbedTee

      Reply
  2. This is just speculation on my part. Perhaps the reason the Towncraft brand was discontinued by JC Penney was to help them re-invent their brand, to break from their past image. They’re still struggling like other department stores and may go under. It really takes an enormous investment if they want to attract today’s shoppers to brick and mortar stores. You would have to reinvent yourself and give the customers a reason to shop there besides sales of products. You almost have to bring in some form of entertainment.

    Reply
    • heya james — i never quite found out why jcpenney discontinued the towncraft brand, but maybe you’re right.

      as far as luring consumers into physical retail — i agree, it’s gonna be tough for many physical retailers to stay relevant.

      that segment of business is evolving, and has to evolve. otherwise, it’ll go extinct.

      thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Reply
  3. For anyone interested in a 60/40 tee that matches the TC 60/40: Next Level apparel, link below, $5-$7 per tee.

    After 20+ years of searching and trying out other shirts I stumbled across Next Level apparel, link below for 60/40 crew neck.

    Now, for the record I dislike the 50/50 blend TC, far too thin, stretchy and does not have the longevity of the 60/40 which, is sublime.

    I have both TC 50/50 and 60/40 for 20+ years because, there is no substitute.

    Until now. Take it from someone who is so picky, gifts are unwelcome and scrutinized due to their inferiority! I just received my test order.

    I can see my skin color slightly through the new shirt when compared to my 20+ y/o TC.

    Both feel the same,same stitching, I just placed my real order this morning after wearing the shirt for a night.

    search google for: 5086 next level n6210 or buy it on amazon

    Reply
  4. I know this thread is old, but it comes up in Google search often enough. I just bought these ribbed tee retro shirts.

    Be aware of 2 things,
    1) They are in fact see-through, that means your nipples show. Not a problem as an undershirt, obviously, but just so as you know; and
    2) There is a side seam. For me that’s a deal breaker, the original shirts were tubular, as are most mass-manufacture shirts (Hanes, et al), the seam is a deal killer, it just looks awful.

    Still, nice feeling shirt, thin, comfy, but darn that seam.

    I would send back, but who sends back t-shirts?

    Reply
    • thanks for the update ryan!

      btw, another reader stopped by and brought my attention to the canvas 3402 (3.8 oz) shirt. with 55% cotton, 45% polyester, 36-singles blend, he said that this canvas distressed t-shirt also felt similar to the old vintage light-weight towncraft 50/50.

      the only problem is that those shirts are only available though t-shirt distributors or screen printers, and that the shirt is “distressed” with grinding at the ribbed edges of the neck,cuffs and bottom hem.

      they’re reasonably priced at $10 – $13.50 per, so it might be another option to keep in mind if you don’t find what you’re looking for with retro fit.

      Reply
  5. 2(X)ist 3-Pack Jersey T-Shirts from Sierra Trading Post are the same length and fit as the Towncraft classics and better quality. I just got them, so I’m not sure how they hold up in the wash, but so far I’m thrilled

    Reply
    • hey ryan! thanks for stopping by and letting me know about the 2(x)ist 3-pack jersey t-shirts.

      are they the loose knit weave like the original 50/50 towncrafts? meaning, are they really super stretchy? or are you referring to the tighter-weaved towncraft undershirts offered shortly before they were discontinued?

      towncraft morphed their product line over the years, so sometimes it’s hard to tell which generation people had.

      Reply
      • I wouldn’t describe them as super stretchy, so perhaps they are more like the tighter-weaved ones. I bought my Towncraft shirts about six years ago and haven’t found anything else I liked since. I’ll check my Towncraft shirts and these new shirts for more details when I get home.

Leave a Comment


Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.